Napoleon Hill was a famous American self-help author and he was known for his best-selling book, Think and Grow Rich, which is among the 10 best selling self-help books of all time. His work has influenced many people including Earl Nightingale, Bob Proctor, Tony Robbins, and many others who have gone to achieve extraordinary success in life.
- 1. Condition Yourself to be Successful
- 2. Success Leaves Clues
- 3. Do Someone a Favor
- 4. Be Initiative
- 5. Have Great Enthusiasm
- 6. Learn from Failures
- 7. Persist Until Succeed
- 8. Have an Intense Desire
- 9. Set Goals
- 10. Believe in Yourself
- 11. Take Action
- 12. The Best Time to Start is Now
- 13. The More You Give The More You Receive
- 14. Create Plans
- 15. Start Small
- 16. Visualize Your Perfect Life
- 17. Be Your Own Star
In this article, you will learn the 17 principles of success from the man of success himself.
1. Condition Yourself to be Successful
Hill often said that if you want the mind to pick up an idea and to form a habit so that the mind will automatically act upon that idea, you have to tell the mind what you want, over and over again.
You have to condition your mind with the right thoughts because you will become who you think about most of the time. So choose to think about your dreams, your goals, and becoming the person you desire, over and over again. Your thinking will determine your action and your action will determine the results you get in life. Thus, adopt the right thoughts to produce the right results you want.
2. Success Leaves Clues
Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever it is that you lack in education or knowledge, or influence, you can always obtain it through somebody who has it.” Success leaves clues and whatever you want to learn or achieve, there will be someone out there who has achieved it. And all you need to do to learn and duplicate their success.
You do not have to reinvent the wheel, just follow the proven path and you will produce the same amazing result just like other successful people did. Success is very much like baking a cake. When you follow the right recipe, your chances of success will be much higher.
3. Do Someone a Favor
If you want other people to help you, you must help them first. Learn to do someone a favor. Help someone so that they will return the favor. Hill said in his book, “I don’t know of any one quality or trait that can get a person an opportunity quicker than to go out of his way or her way to do somebody a favor, or do something useful.”
People will appreciate your help and they will want to help you in return. For example, when you solve someone’s problem, people will pay you for your effort. In business, you must learn to create value for your customers so that they will want to buy from you and do business with you.
4. Be Initiative
Hill said that to be successful, you do not need to be very brilliant. A great education cannot guarantee your success, the only way to achieve great results is to be initiative and apply what you have learned. Highly successful people are not the most brilliant or smartest people, but they are the most initiative people.
Your knowledge is just a form of potential power. The true power comes when you put in the initiative and apply the knowledge you have acquired. This is what success truly means. Rather than sitting and waiting for things to come to them, successful people take initiative and make things happen.
5. Have Great Enthusiasm
According to Hill’s teaching, one of the most important factors to success is to maintain your enthusiasm for the long run. Most people are motivated and enthusiastic to take action, but their energy only last for a few months, or worse, a few days. Successful people understand this and they maintain their enthusiasm every single day.
Here is a great quote to reflect this idea, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” Keep your enthusiasm high and go for the long run. Enthusiasm is the fire in your heart, you have to keep it burning to go farther and farther away.
6. Learn from Failures
One of Hill’s famous quotes is, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” You must not be afraid to fail and be ready to learn from your failures. Successful people learn the most when they fail because they treat their failures as a feedback to get higher and to do better.
You have to apply this principle to your life too. You will definitely face a lot of setbacks, rejections, and failures on your road to success, but it is how you deal with adversities that truly matter. Learn from your mistakes and make them the stepping stones to success.
7. Persist Until Succeed
No great success can ever achieve without persistence. Napoleon Hill said that most great people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure. Those who fail are often those who give up. Remember this, a winner will never quit and a quitter will never win.
This is why you must persist until you succeed. It takes time to produce an amazing result in life, so have the patience and persistence to make it work. The moment you wanted to quit, remember your purpose and why you want to achieve what you set out for in the first place. Your empowering purposes will give you the power to persist until you succeed.
8. Have an Intense Desire
When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve what you want in life. Hill believed that what drives people into taking action and overcoming insurmountable setbacks is their intense desire to achieve.
When your desire is strong, you will do whatever it takes to accomplish what you want. Thus, grow your desire for success and nothing can ever stop you. The difference between extraordinary and ordinary people is that extraordinary people have an intense desire to do the ‘extra’, and that is why they are performing better than the ordinary.
9. Set Goals
Napoleon Hill wrote in his book, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” You must transform your dreams into goals by writing them down. More importantly, never forget to include a deadline to your goals.
When you have a deadline and you know what you need to do, you can then take crystal-clear action and make sure you are moving in the right direction to produce the success you want. Unfortunately, most people do not have a clear and specific goal, they are vague and that is why they fail to produce the specific result they want in life.
10. Believe in Yourself
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” This is probably the most famous saying from Hill. Hill was considered the father of self-help author and one of his most influential principles of success is to believe in yourself.
If you do not believe in yourself that you are able to achieve what you want, you will never do your best. When you fully believe that something is possible, you will tap into your inner potential and find ways to make things happen. Think about it, if you do not believe that you can build a million-dollar business, would you try your best? The answer is clear.
11. Take Action
A lot of people are looking for quick fixes to their problems. They want to get rich quickly and if possible, without putting in much effort. Hill often encouraged people to take massive and consistent action because he knew that action is the bridge that will connect you to your dreams.
When you study the biography of successful people, you will see that every one of them takes massive and consistent action. They are always on the move. They envision the accomplishment of their dreams, and they also work on their dreams. Please understand that your goals and dreams will not come to you automatically, even if you want to win the lottery, you need to make the effort to buy or get a ticket in the first place.
12. The Best Time to Start is Now
When it comes to taking action, there is no perfect time to start. All you need to do is to do it right away. There is no such thing as the perfect timing. The more you wait for the right moment to start, the more likely you are going to procrastinate and never do it. Most people wait for the perfect moment to come, and at the end, they are not doing anything at all. Never let this happen to you.
There is a famous Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” So just get it started and take action to make your dreams come true.
13. The More You Give The More You Receive
Hill also believed that the more you provide and give, the more you are going to receive. In fact, most successful people believe this to be true. This is why they are working hard each day to help those who are in need, whether in business or for philanthropic purposes. When you give, people are obliged to return your favor.
14. Create Plans
Don’t just hit the ground running and do whatever you can, instead, build a plan of attack for your goals. Hill said that you have to create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. It is true that sometimes things may not work out exactly like what you have planned, but having a plan is much better than having no plan at all. When you have a plan, you will know what to do and you can prepare yourself better for what is coming. And just like what Hill said, “Plan your work and work your plan.”
15. Start Small
One of Napoleon Hill’s principles to success is that if you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Success is not about making the big decision or taking that bold action, it is more about doing the right thing consistently, day in and day out, and the small victories will accumulate and become a big success.
Always remember that what you do each day is more important than what you do once every six months. It is what you do each day that will determine your life. So make sure you start small and take the right action each day.
16. Visualize Your Perfect Life
Visualization is a powerful tool in achieving what you want in life, and Napoleon Hill was also a big believer in it. He said, “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination, imagination is the warship of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.”
When you imagine and visualize success, you will produce victories in life. On the other hand, when you keep picturing failures and problems in your mind, your mind will fulfill your order and bring failures to you. So visualize the perfect life you want. Always dream and imagine success is happening to you.
17. Be Your Own Star
You must be willing to follow your own path and dare to do what you believe is right. When everyone is telling you that what you want is impossible, hang on and persist because when you succeeded, you will shine the brightest.
“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.” Therefore, believe in yourself and in your dreams, ignore the naysayer and keep on working on your plans.
These are the 17 principles of success you can learn from the famous author of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill. The principles here may sound common and easy to understand, but never underestimate their power in changing lives. Hill has helped and transformed millions of lives, and when you apply the principles here, your life can change and success can be yours too.